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Retail Manager to IT Manager

 
Ranch Hand
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Hi all, I've been in retail management for 20 years now (9 of them managing managers), 7 years in leisure management before that, so I have plenty of management experience.  I'm very likely going to be made redundant next year and with my strong interests in tech I would like to transition to IT Management.

I have some skills in programming, enough to write some simple apps and websites, but I don't think I should look at coding, although I'm not ruling this out.

I have time on my side.  With the pay out and my savings I can spend two or three years studying and gaining qualifications if that's what is needed.  I've got PSM1 from Scrum.org already.

Really I'm just wondering what people's advice would be.  Is there a good 6 month course I should look to do for example?  Should I use a recruiter to help me find something?

Thanks for any help offered
 
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Andy,

I would have to say in my entire career that the worst manager that i ever had was one that came in from retail.  the philosophies are very different.

 1--they didn't know what their people did
 2--they were not qualified to tell if the job was done well or not
 3--they didn't know how to checkup on things during the development phase.
 4--they tried to micromanage everything as they would in retail.

Since they didn't understand what was going on, they never really trusted anyone and that micromanaging was their way of coping with not knowing anything.

Now having said that, i will also say management is a skill that can be applied across all disciplines, but you have to understand what your people do.  Can you handle managing a heard of cats that you have no idea where each cat will run to, or how they will move when you try to heard them?

I don't have a short simple answer for you--I've been a programmer now for 30 years and before that i was a retail manager.  I got out of retail management and went to college and earned my degree in computer science.  i entered the job market and have done well, IMO.  because i have had management experience I have been sought after many times to do management.  Each time i turn that down because it is not what i want to do.

I've been in a Senior development position now since I was out of college for about 6 months, I am usually the lead programmer on a project or even the Senior programmer the an agency or company.  The long range planning associated with that is something of self preservation, so we have a clear and agile path to follow in our integration of technology into our enterprise, but I do not try to heard the cats.  It is more pain and trouble than I wish to deal with.

So how much time are you willing to put in to understand how your cats will move in the IT world?  I assure you, most with 1 or more years of experience do not take well to micromanagement.  I am not saying you would do so--but it is the natural path that managers follow when they don't understand.

best wishes and hope things workout for you,
Les
 
Andy Crowther
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Thanks for the notes. I don't think I'm the 'micro managing' type.  I'm more the 'empower them' type.

I also note a LOT of engineers say they simply don't want to manage, or try managing and want to code...  which is why I hear a lot of people saying they don't mind so much if their managers don't know how to code.  (And of course, I do know how to code, just probably not well enough to be an actual engineer)
 
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